Yesterday I noted that the Obama administration has failed to comply with the condition precedent to Congress’s review of the deal with Iran (and the president’s authority to waive sanctions). I asked what is to be done.
I asked, Bill Kristol answered. Bill wears many hats, one of which is Chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel. In this capacity he released the following statement addressing the question yesterday:
The Obama Administration has not complied with the legal requirement that it provide Congress “any additional materials” related to the Iran deal, including “side agreements, implementing materials, documents, and guidance, technical or other understandings, and any related agreements, whether entered into or implemented prior to the agreement or to be entered into or implemented in the future.” The Administration has not given Congress a key side agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, one which describes how key questions about the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program will be resolved, as well as how the verification regime will work.
Congress should not accept this evasion of the law by the Obama Administration. Congress should insist on the text of this and any other side agreements. Lacking this, Congress can and should take the position that the Iran deal has not been properly submitted to Congress to review, and therefore that the president has no authority to waive or suspend sanctions.
We understand the temptation of leadership to get to a vote on a resolution of disapproval and then to move on to other votes. But the Iran deal isn’t just another legislative issue where some corner-cutting by the Administration is to be accepted with a brief expression of discontent followed by a weary sigh of resignation.
The Iran deal is the most important foreign policy issue this Congress will have before it. Congress should rise to the occasion and insist on its prerogative — and the American people’s prerogative — to see the whole deal. The first resolution the House should consider when it returns [today] should be one stating that Congress has not been provided the material it needs, that the Iran deal has not been properly submitted to Congress, and therefore that the president has no authority to waive or suspend sanctions on Iran.
I think this is the correct direction and congressional leadership should follow it.